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Advice services help reduce stress and improve health

A new report shows that there is a significant reduction in stress and significant improvement in mental wellbeing as a result of advice service interventions. The research was conducted in Citizens Advice Gateshead, and used the Perceived Stress Scale and WEMWBS (the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale) to measure the health impact of advice. The Perceived Stress Scale was used as it was considered the easiest way to indicate the physical impacts that advice and the resolution of issues can have, because of the strong body of evidence about the physical impacts of stress on the body.

The research also highlights the hugely important role that trust plays in the relationship between the service and the service users, as well as the role of Citizens Advice as a ‘buffer’ to the state. This underlines how important the voluntary sector is as a trusted third party for many service users trying to engage with the state, be that the benefits system or access to services such as health and care.

Read more: onlinelibrary.wiley.com